Since 2020, Japan has been mostly blocked to international travelers due to the implementation of some of the world’s strictest Covid-19 regulations. Even as it prepares to open its borders to travelers from almost 100 nations and regions on Friday, additional limitations are being imposed.
This includes the need that travelers join a group tour. In addition, they must get medical insurance and wear masks in all public locations, even outside.
This year, Neasa Ronayne hopes to travel to Japan for the first time.
She paid more than £3,500 ($4,390) for a 16-day tour because she is not able to wander freely in the country due to the Covid-19 limitations.
Ms Ronayne, who resides in the United Kingdom, is nevertheless eager to go.
“This will be my first visit to Japan, as well as to Asia. It’s something I’m looking forward to. To learn certain terms, I’ve been watching [Japanese reality TV show] Terrace House “she stated
She isn’t on her own. Several travel businesses have told the media that they are noticing an increase in queries regarding vacations to Japan, despite the fact that the country’s tight laws continue to deter some tourists.
Tourists must also avoid the “three Cs”: tight areas, crowded places, and close contact settings, according to the guidelines.
The Japan Tourism Agency stated earlier this week that tour organizers must follow guests “from admission to exit,” while also reminding them of Covid rules like as mask wearing.
“At each point of the trip, tour guides should remind tour participants of important infection protection measures, including wearing and removing masks,” the CDC stated in 16 pages of instructions released on Tuesday.
“Masks should be worn even outside in settings when individuals are chatting in close proximity,” it stated.
Despite this, travel agents report an increase in interest in visiting the nation.
Chan Brothers Travel, based in Singapore, claimed it has received bookings for 50 tour groups to Japan, each with up to 30 persons.
Since Japan’s reopening was revealed, Jeremiah Wong, the company’s spokeswoman, informed the media that requests had been “flowing in massively.”
“Travellers have no issues going on their long-awaited trips to make up for the time missed in the last two years or more,” Mr Wong added.
However, he is uncertain when the company’s first post-pandemic tour to Japan would be able to take place: “The earliest departure might be after mid-July owing to the demand for tourist visa application… for all tourists.”
Her company wants to resume its excursions, which include famous places such as Mount Fuji, in August. However, Ms Bencheikh stated that it was still awaiting permission from Japanese officials.